Lauded for his “beauty of tone and keenness of musicianship” (Opera Britannia), cellist Ezra Seltzer has performed as guest principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Orchester Wiener Akademie, and the Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra. He has also appeared as a soloist and principal cellist at the Boulder Bach Festival, and is the associate principal cellist at the Carmel Bach Festival. In New York, he regularly performs chamber music at Helicon Foundation Symposia, the 4x4 Baroque Music Festival, and at Music Before 1800, and is a co-founder and principal cellist of the Sebastians. This season he will also appear with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Chicago's Baroque Band, and New York Baroque Incorporated.
Kiri Tollaksen (cornetto) enjoys a varied career as a performer and teacher. Praised for her "stunning technique, and extreme musicality," (Journal of the International Trumpet Guild), and called an “excellent cornetto player” (New York Times), Kiri has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe with such groups as Concerto Palatino, La Fenice, Toronto Consort, Tenet, Piffaro, Pacific MusicWorks, Tesserae, Apollo’s Fire, and is a member of the highly regarded early brass ensemble Dark Horse Consort. With degrees from Eastman, Yale and University of Michigan, Kiri has been on the faculty of Indiana University (Bloomington), Brass Antiqua (VA), and the Amherst and Madison Early Music Festivals. She happily lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and 2 cats. For upcoming concerts, please visit http://www.KiriTollaksen.com.
Bruce Dickey is a performer and researcher who has devoted himself since 1975 to the revival of the cornetto. He taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel (Switzerland) for forty years until 2016 and is founder and co-director of the ensemble Concerto Palatino. As a performer he has made many groundbreaking recordings and has collaborated with most of the leading figures in the field of early music. For his acheivements, the Historic Brass Society awarded him in 2000 the Christopher Monk Award for "his monumental work in cornetto performance, historical performance practice and musicological scholarship." He has published numerous articles on the cornetto and performance practice. In the past few years his project Breathtaking, together with Czech soprano Hana Blažíková has achieved notable critical and popular success around the world.
Tekla Cunningham, baroque violin, viola and viola d'amore, enjoys a varied and active musical life. At home in Seattle, she is concertmaster of Stephen Stubbs' Pacific MusicWorks, principal second violin with Seattle Baroque Orchestra & Soloists, and plays regularly as concertmaster and principal player with the American Bach Soloists in California. She directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, a summer concert series presenting vibrant period-instrument performances of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Beethoven.
She has appeared as concertmaster/leader or soloist with the American Bach Soloists, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica (Los Angeles). She has also played with Apollo’s Fire, Los Angeles Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and at the Carmel Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Indianapolis Early Music Festival, Savannah Music Festival and the Bloomington Early Music Festival. She has worked with many leading directors including Rinaldo Alessandrini, Giovanni Antonini, Harry Bicket, Paul Goodwin, Martin Haselböck, Monica Huggett, Nic McGegan, Rachel Podger, Jordi Savall, Stephen Stubbs, Jeffrey Thomas, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Bruno Weil.
An avid chamber musician, Tekla enjoys exploring the string quartet repertoire of the 18th and early 19th century with the period-instrument Novello Quartet, whose abiding interest is the music of Haydn. She is also a member of La Monica, an ensemble dedicated to music of the 17th century, whose concerts have been reviewed as “sizzling”, and praised for their “irrepressible energy and pitch-perfect timing”. With Jillon Dupree, harpsichord, and Vicki Boeckman, recorders, she plays in Ensemble Electra, known for its inventive programs and energetic performances.
She can be heard on recordings with the American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco Bach Choir, various movie soundtracks including Disney’s Casanova, La Monica’s recent release The Amorous Lyre, a recording of repertoire of Merula and his contemporaries and the Novello Quartet’s recording of Haydn’s Op. 50 string quartets. This summer she recorded Mozart’s Flute Quartets with Janet See, Laurie Wells and Tanya Tomkins.
Tekla received her musical training at Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory (where she studied History and German Literature in addition to violin), Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, in Vienna, Austria, and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she completed a Master’s degree with Ian Swenson. She teaches Suzuki violin in both German and English and is on the early music faculty of Cornish College for the Arts.
Beth Wenstrom’s playing has been praised for its “vitality and eloquent phrasing, as well as agility” (The Strad). As a soloist and concertmaster, she has performed with Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Sebastian Chamber Players, New York Baroque Incorporated, and Quodlibet Ensemble. Beth is a founding member of Wayward Sisters, winner of the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Competition as well as an original member of the “vital and vibrant” ensemble, ACRONYM (Classics Today). In addition to performing, Beth serves as string coach for the baroque ensemble at SUNY Stony Brook and has taught at Oberlin Conservatory as a sabbatical replacement and at their summer festival, BPI.